Words and Music:
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. Poet. e. 1. XV Century
Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868); from a manuscript in the 15th Century.
See Notes Under The Holly And The Ivy.
Ivy, chief of trees it is,
1. The most worthy she is in town,
He that saith other doth amiss;
And worthy to bear the crown;
2. Ivy is soft and meek of speech,
Against all bale she is bliss;
Well is he that may her reach,
3. Ivy is green with colour bright,
Of all trees best she is;
And that I prove well now be right,
4. Ivy beareth berries black;
God grant us all His bliss,
For there shall we nothing lack:
Also found in Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 263.
Versions of this carol on this web site include:
Ivy Chefe Off Treis It Is (Wright, 1847)
Ivy, Chief Of Trees, It Is (Vizetelly, 1851)
Ivy, Chief Of Trees (Husk, 1868) (this page)
Ivy Chefe Of Treis It Is (Chambers & Sidgwick, 1907)
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